T-Mobile is now the only major U.S. wireless carrier that doesn’t carry the iPhone. It isn’t a coincidence that t’s also the only carrier that doesn’t have a nationwide 4G LTE network (its 4G is HSPA+) or that it is lagging behind the other three major carriers. This weeks’s news, if true, could put T-Mobile on-track to truly compete in the U.S. wireless market.
CNET is reporting that a Morgan Stanley analyst predicts T-Mobile “could” announce iPhone distribution in “early 2013.” The analyst also said that such an announcement would mean one or two million more iPhone 5’s sold in the first quarter 2013.
T-Mobile is already known to be developing iOS versions of its smartphone software. Last month T-Mobile launched an ad campaign urging customers to buy unlocked iPhones for full price and use them on its network. The company pointed out that T-Mobile’s less-expensive plans would save them money over time, though the upfront cost is high.
Though Android phones have been gaining in popularity over the past few years, no single device can yet compete with the hype that surrounds the iPhone. Apple’s latest model of their smartphone, the iPhone 5, sold out its initial shipment of pre-orders in under one hour and analysts predict that Apple could sell as many as 250 million of the devices over the next few years.
In the meantime, T-Mobile subscribers will have to be content with high-end Samsung phones, such as the Galaxy Note II, which is rumored to be coming to the carrier in one week. T-Mobile is also negotiating the purchase of a smaller U.S. carrier, MetroPCS, which will raise its subscriber numbers closer to the third largest U.S. carrier, Sprint.